Office of Procurement Services
10501 FGCU Blvd South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
When responding to a solicitation document, always refer to and follow the instructions specified within the respective solicitation document. Registration with Public Purchase is necessary in order to be notified when the University posts a public solicitation. Please visit our Vendor Registration page for instructions.
Invitation to Negotiate (ITN)
The Invitation to Negotiate is a competitive solicitation for goods or services where factors other than price are to be considered in the award determination. These factors may include vendor experience, scope of work, specific features of a product, etc.
Invitation to Bid (ITB)
The Invitation to Bid is generally used to purchase goods and/or services with defined specifications. Responses must be in writing and must be delivered sealed to the Office of Procurement Services. Emailed or faxed responses from vendors are acceptable only if so stated in the ITB.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
A Request for Proposal may be used in establishing contracts which seek creativity or different ways of accomplishing a task; usually the specifications cannot be easily defined. Responses to RFP's must be in writing and delivered sealed to the Office of Procurement Services.
Request for Quotation (RFQ)
A Request for Quotation is generally used for soliciting quotes for products and services that are as standardized as possible so as to ensure each vendor's quote is comparable. RFQ's can be submitted via email, mail, or delivered to the Office of Procurement Services.
Each responding vendor is responsible for carefully reading the solicitation document and understanding its contents. Vendors who have previously submitted solicitations for the same commodity or service should not presume that the specifications, terms and conditions are necessarily the same. There may be differences that would only be realized after carefully reading the entire solicitation document. Any questions related to the solicitation should be directed to the Procurement Services agent named in the solicitation document.
Prospective bidders should be financially sound and able to perform fully, according to the specifications, delivery requirements, services and other stipulations in the solicitation document at the price(s) offered. In cases where the awarded contractor refuses to comply with the resultant contract, the University reservces the right to purchase on the open market and charge the contractor for any excess costs incurred.
All solicitation openings are public. For ITB's, only prices are recorded along with the names of bidders. ITN's and RFPs involve evaluations so other than recording the names of vendors submitting proposals, no other information is recorded. Ten (10) calendar days after the opening or upon posting of an award, whichever occurs first, a solicitation becomes public record and can be reviewed by those who have submitted proposals. Exemptions under Florida law are few, so the University cannot guarantee that information submitted by the vendor, whether marked confidential or not, can be exempted from this requirement. If this is a concern for the interested bidder, then you may choose to not submit a solicitation at all.
During the period of evaluation and prior to award, possession of solicitations and accompanying information is limited to the University personnel involved in the evaluation process. At the discretion of the appropriate Procurement Services agent, vendors may be contacted where clarification of a proposal is necessary for proper evaluation; however, in doing so, no change is permitted in prices.
Being the "low bidder" on an solicitation does not necessarily mean that an award will be made to that vendor. The purpose of the evaluation process is to determine the "best buy" for the University, taking into consideration selection criteria in the solicitation and the factors spelled out by procedure and statute.
Factors Determining Award
Some factors considered in addition to price may be quality, adherence to specifications, delivery, service, warranty, and other factors depending on the intended use of the commodity or service required. Note, ITB's and RFQ's can only be awarded based upon price, providing that quality, delivery, etc. are equal.
The University reserves the right to waive technicalities or minor discrepancies in any solicitation, if in its judgment and without any prejudice to any rights of other responsive bidders, the best interest of the University would be served.
Awards are made to the most responsible and responsive qualified bidder who meets all specifications, terms and conditions of the solicitation proposal.
The University reserves the right to make awards by item, groups of items or total solicitation, whichever it deems is in the best interest of the University. The University may also reject any solicitation, in whole or in part, or reject all solicitations if it determines that the lowest solicitation exceeds the funds available for purchase, or if the lowest solicitation is considered in excess of current reasonable market prices.
Posting of Award
After completion of the evaluation process, recommendations for the award of equipment, supplies, materials, and services are reviewed with the requisitioner, if applicable, before an award is made. Solicitation tabulations with intended award(s) will be posted for review by interested parties at the location where the solicitations were opened and will remain posted for a period of 72 hours.
Review of Awards
After a contract award, interested parties can review the solicitation file or obtain the name of the successful bidder, price, and similar basic information through a written (including email) request to the Procurement Services agent. Vendors are encouraged to review solicitation files, during normal business hours, since much valuable information can be obtained that may be useful in future bidding situations. Photocopies are available for $0.10/single side page or $0.15/double side page.
Any solicitation that does not meet, or substantially alters the specifications, solicitation terms or conditions of a proposal may be rejected in whole or part. The University reserves the right to reject any or all solicitations if the best interests of the University will be served.
The person signing the solicitation proposal or the authorized designee must initial errors, alterations, or corrections on both the original and copy(s) of the solicitation proposal. This includes erasures, alterations or corrections to unit price, total price, quantity, unit and description of commodities and/or service. Failure to do so will result in rejection of the solicitation for the applicable item or items.
Other Factors That Are Cause for Rejection of a Solicitation (Not Inclusive)
Procedure for Filing Protests
Protests shall be handled in accordance with the Florida Board of Governors Regulation, Chapter 18.002 Notice and Protest Procedure. Please refer to Florida Gulf Coast University's General Counsel's website for details on specific Protest regulations.